A Tumult. A Storm.

I was scared so I ran toward COVID,
founded a respiratory acute care clinic.
It was something concrete,
a way to escape the messiness of the world.
A weird positive-adaptive-coping mechanism.

I’m so proud of my team.
But we haven’t yet begun to grieve:
my team and their family members,
our kids’ challenges and struggles,
the death of a work colleague.

And how and when will I be able
to grieve the loss of my father?

COVID is an emergent disease,
forced us to learn differently:
…..an emergent learning model.
Because something new was always emerging.

We posture sometimes in medicine.
COVID allowed us to admit
“we don’t know” to our patients.
Uncertainty became a great equalizer,
allowed patients to feel safer with us,
removed the power differential in some way.

I’m fierce, still running on adrenaline,
…..and vulnerable, running out of adrenaline.

We accomplished so much this year.

We need to be kind to ourselves,
…..with each other
……….and with our community.

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

She spoke about how hard the past year had been, how filled with uncertainty it had been, and how tired she felt. She hadn’t even begun to deal with the loss of her father. She founded a respiratory acute care clinic, and five days later the first COVID patients arrived. She also noted that in the middle of the tough year, deep connections with colleagues during a time when so few had that had felt like a gift.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Physicians Assistant
Listener Poet: Katherine Grekker

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